Guests touring The W.H. Stark House will now enjoy a brighter view of the china cabinet in the back hall thanks to a new lighting system. Small picture tube fixtures were installed on each shelf of the china cabinet, which was previously only illuminated by the hallway’s chandeliers.

The china exhibit showcases more than 1,000 pieces of the most complete services used by the W.H. Stark family for everyday dining, Sunday dining, and holiday events. Before beginning the project, Stark House staff packed each piece of china in a special storage box for protection. The electrical work – designed and completed by the Building Services staff of the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation – occurred over a period of approximately 14 days. The china is now back on display in the cabinet and available for viewing on tours of The W.H. Stark House.

“For a guide to open the cabinet doors and turn the switch that illuminates the exhibit is a thrill for both the Stark House visitors and the guiding staff,” said Patsy Herrington, Managing Director of The W.H. Stark House. “With the new lighting system casting lights upon the display, the intricate detail and beauty of each piece of china is visible, and visitors are able to see the patterns, colors and designs of each piece in greater detail.”

The china on view in the cabinet includes more than 420 pieces of the English Coalport Indian Tree pattern, circa 1850, as well as 412 pieces of the English Minton pattern, circa 1890-1927. Also displayed are two similar Rose Trellis patterns: 94 pieces by Sèvres, circa 1770-1884, and 156 pieces by Rue Thiroux, with dates from 1869.

Additional items on display include several sets of French, English, and American service plates, used at the turn of the century to mark place settings, and an American Brilliant Period cut glass ice cream service in the Catalpa pattern manufactured by the Pairpoint Manufacturing Company of New Bedford, Massachusetts, around 1900.

All tours begin at the entrance through the Carriage House at 610 Main Avenue. Regular admission for a full tour of the House is $5 per adult (ages 18-64) and $2 per senior ages 65 and older and per youth ages 10-17. The Stark House is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information on The W.H. Stark House or to make a tour reservation, call
409.883.0871 or visit